Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching

About the Program:

The Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program provides funding for highly accomplished U.S. primary and secondary level educators to take part in an intensive professional development program for three to six months abroad. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE).

As part of the program, while abroad Fulbright Distinguished Teachers:
• Study and observe international best practices in education
• Share professional expertise with host country educators and students
• Develop leadership skills and understanding of educational policy and teaching practice
• Enhance their ability to work in diverse and multicultural environments

Upon return to the U.S., Fulbright Distinguished Teachers:
• Integrate international best practices in education in the U.S. classroom, school and community
• Integrate inquiry project findings into the U.S. classroom or school
• Expand global and intercultural awareness of students and colleagues by sharing their Fulbright experience and infusing their experience into classroom content or curriculum
• Develop partnerships and joint projects with schools and classrooms abroad 

Program Components

Grantees who are selected to participate in the Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program:
• Are based at a host university or teacher training institution abroad where they enroll in up to two advanced undergraduate or graduate level classes of relevance to their program goals
• Observe classes, team-teach and/or conduct seminars or workshops in local schools for host country teachers and students
• Design and complete an inquiry project
• Participate in a web-based collaborative project with other participants to share best practices and other elements of host country educational systems and
• Engage in other teaching related activities 

Upon returning home, grantees will be expected to share the knowledge and experience gained on the program with teachers and students in their U.S. schools and within their communities. (From IIE)

About My Project:

“From Bechuanaland to Botswana: Understanding colonialism in Africa from a Batswana Perspective.”

As a social studies teacher, I aspire to educate and engage globally competent students, make the past relevant and challenge students to find out the full story, not just those that appear in our textbooks.

My project sets out to retrieve the past and provide and make relevant the voice of native Batswana on colonialism that is largely left out or missing from American classrooms. My project focuses on three primary components: 1) According to native Batswana, what was the significance and effects of colonialism? 2) How do local schools teach colonial history? What are current attitudes or reflections of this period of time? and 3) Based on the above objectives, develop a narrative or timeline of colonial history from the Batswana perspective and design an online curriculum guide that is heavily influenced by the current educational re-telling of that history in local schools. Beyond creating an online curriculum guide for teachers, I will also create an online toolbox of primary resources (especially focused on non-text resources) that can be accessed by American teachers.

It’s my intention to make light of the full story of Botswana’s colonial past and engage students in being historians by focusing on primary sources not accessible in our local schools.